Tags » Etymology

Food for thought

The Latin word cibus meant ‘food,’ and that’s why the abbreviation cib. in a medicinal prescription means ‘food.’ For the Romans, cibus also meant ‘fodder,’ which is to say ‘food for animals,’ and that sense has continued in the word’s Spanish descendant, … 190 more words

Spanish Language


There are lots of words out there which were originally trademarks but have become generic, everyday terms. Some of those ex-trademarks are widely known, like… 310 more words


Grow: The power of increase; the points of focus of this power can be spread, and moved, by an action called planting; accordingly, the points of power are called plants. 37 more words



What a great word! It’s one of those words with a negative prefix that doesn’t seem to have a sensible positive equivalent; people don’t talk about being tramelled. 153 more words


Word Mystery: construction / obras / travaux

Every Wednesday, I explore the linguistic origins of the same word in different languages.

The first time my best friend came to Europe, it was with me on a mini-tour through Spain, France and Italy. 390 more words


Totem Tanka

Maybe a shaman

is really called a shaman

because he reveals

to us all the things that we

are afraid and ashamed of.



A set of two things used or found together. Old French “paire” < Latin “paria”=equal things.”